Have you considered becoming a nurse, but are still unsure of the area in which you want to specialize? Or, are you a nursing professional who is interested in many fields, and doesn’t want to be tied to one specialty? Then you should consider putting on the medical uniform of a registered nurse (RN). As an RN you will manage patients’ medical care, perform direct patient care, and oversee the work of licensed practical nurses and certified nurse assistants. RN’s have a great impact upon the lives of their patients, as well as the work flow of other medical staffers in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care institutions. To become a registered nurse you must complete an associate degree program or a bachelor’s degree program at a trade / vocational school, community college, or university. Some hospitals provide RN training to students who already have bachelor’s degrees in related fields. Usually states offer higher levels of licensure to students who possess bachelor’s degrees rather than associate degrees.
The next level up after RN is Nurse Practitioner (NP), which requires a master’s degree. Nurse Practitioners in medical uniforms diagnose common ailments and perform routine tests, as well as prescribe medication. They work closely with their patients to monitor and meet their health needs. NP’s sometimes have their own practices, or else they work in hospitals or outpatient or assisted living facilities. NP’s provide much the same care as physicians, and often they are the patients’ primary health care providers. Nurse practitioners provide comprehensive healthcare for patients of all ages; and their focus is on individualized care. They not only diagnose and treat patients’ illnesses and conditions, but also work with the families on wellness, prevention, and on coping with the effects of illness on their daily lives. Many NP’s are active in research and patient advocacy. NP’s require good communications skills, empathy, and the ability to work in tandem with other members of the health professional team.
The particular duties of NP’s in Cherokee medical scrubs vary depending upon the state in which they work, and also according to their specialty. Nursing Practitioner specialties include neonatal, pediatrics, geriatrics, occupational health, anesthesia, and acute care. Where many other health care professions are regulated nationally, the Nursing Practitioner profession is regulated independently by each state. All Nursing Practitioners are required to fulfill the certification and licensing criteria for their state. Many also opt for voluntary national licensing offered by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Certification as a nurse practitioner can be earned in two year programs of classes and clinical experience; however, candidates should have first earned their bachelor’s degrees. Most Nurse Practitioners begin as registered nurses, and then enter a BS to MSN program which focuses on a specialty such as family medicine, internal medicine, surgery, or women’s health.